Ukraine’s military charitable trust, Come Back Alive, is pioneering innovative ways to empower its forces on the front lines.
Spearheading this initiative is Taras Chmut, a 30-year-old former marine turned director of Come Back Alive.
Chmut, the brain behind the charity’s formidable campaigns, is reshaping the future of warfare through the Eye for an Eye initiative, which reflects the public’s thirst for retribution.
The charity’s campaign has garnered significant attention by purchasing 200 large-calibre 12.7mm machine guns for Ukrainian units.
Collaborating with big businesses, Come Back Alive launched its first campaign at Okko fuel stations, raising funds to acquire 25 Shark reconnaissance drones, crucial for adjusting artillery fire.
As the conflict landscape evolved, Chmut recognised the pivotal role played by suicide drones, prompting him to partner with Ukraine’s Monobank and the United24 funding platform.
In just three days, the campaign raised an impressive $6.3 million, enabling the purchase of 10,000 kamikaze drones, ushering in a new era of warfare efficiency.
These kamikaze drones have proven to be game-changers in the conflict, cost-effectively neutralising heavily armoured vehicles. Chmut emphasised their impact telling The Times: “A $600 drone can destroy a tank worth a couple of million dollars. Expensive machinery in a war is not as effective as it used to be.”
The charity has also responded to the immediate needs of the front lines, focusing on mine-clearing equipment and heavy engineering vehicles to construct sophisticated defence lines.
Despite directing more than $50 million from Come Back Alive’s funds towards preparations for Ukraine’s summer counteroffensive, Chmut sees no end to the conflict.
He compared its scale and intensity to the Korean War, expressing frustration at the inadequacies of Ukraine’s state suppliers.
“Everything indicates that this will be a long conflict,” he said. “You will never know how the fight goes until you start fighting. I understand that.
“If you generalise, the West watches our war as a kind of a TV show, and, as with a decent TV series, nobody wants it to end. So the machinery, armour, and support we get given are enough for us not to lose. But it is absolutely not enough for us to win.”